Holy Cross Conference on ‘Rethinking the Afropolitan,’ Photography Show and Concert to Explore Black Atlantic Culture

Cantor Art Gallery to feature two-man photo exhibition starting Oct. 18
October 6th, 2017 by 

The sapeur Severin, also known as
The sapeur Severin, also known as "Le Salopard," shows a portrait of his father, who was also a sapeur, in the living room of the family home, Brazzaville, 2004. Photo by Hector Mediavilla as part of his S.A.P.E. series.

The College of the Holy Cross will host an academic conference, a photography exhibition and a concert Oct. 18-21 to explore the intersection of history, ethics and visual culture in the performance and display of black masculinities in Africa, the Americas and Europe. All the events are free and open to the public.

A three-day conference and workshop entitled “Rethinking the Afropolitan: The Ethics of Black Atlantic Masculinities on Display” will use a recent concept referred to as the “Afropolitan” as a point of departure to examine the history and complexity of ideas and images of black manhood. People who embody the term “Afropolitan” are celebrated by some as models of African modernities while others see the Afropolitan as glorified consumers or objects of globalization and capitalization. Conference panels will focus on slavery and its afterlives, consuming cultures, texts and improvisations, and performing masculinities.

Silvio Torres-Saillant, professor of English and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University, will deliver the opening keynote on “The Advent of Blackness and Its African Consequences” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. A second keynote address will be offered at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 by Robert Trent Vinson, the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the College of William and Mary. His talk is entitled “Rethinking Afropolitan Masculinities in the Anti-Apartheid Politics of Albert Luthuli and Martin Luther King, Jr.” Both addresses and the conference panels will be held in the Rehm Library.

The conference is organized by Holy Cross’ Rosa Carrasquillo, professor of history, and Lorelle Semley, associate professor of history, and is sponsored by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. View the complete schedule at holycross.edu/afropolitan.

In conjunction with the conference, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery will present a two-man photography show opening Oct. 18 and running through Dec. 15. Héctor Mediavilla’s series “S.A.P.E.: Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes/ Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People,” presents nuanced views of Congolese men who, since the early part of the 20th century, have used dress and performance to engage and counter the realities of political and economic hardship in postcolonial Africa. In “A Visual Guide to the Heart: The Music of Ismael Rivera,” Christopher López debuts his photographs, taken recently in Puerto Rico, to evoke the history and politics embedded in the music of Rivera, a beloved Puerto Rican singer and Afro-Caribbean icon.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday noon to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed during Thanksgiving break, Nov. 22-26. An opening reception with the artists will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. For more information on the exhibit, visit the gallery’s site.

Finally, the music of Ismael Rivera will come alive at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 in the Hogan Ballroom, as Arts Transcending Borders presents “A Tribute to Ismael Rivera: An Afro-Caribbean Icon.” Composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Gonzalo Grau performs his new arrangements of Ismael Rivera’s hits with a stellar ensemble, including Worcester’s own Manolo Mairena. The concert is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Reserve online at http://bit.ly/ismaelrivera.

 

For additional information, please contact College Marketing and Communications at 508-793-2419.

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